Divided By Language

Have you ever wondered why America’s politicians are so polarized and divided, and apparently so incapable of ever reaching even the minimum necessary levels of compromise that is needed to pass legislation?

The answer is actually quite prosaic. They’re two parties, Republican and Democrat, who are divided by a common language. A case in point:

  • Whenever a Republican politician says, “Tax Reform,” Democrats hear, “Tax Cuts For The Wealthy.”
  • Whenever a Democrat politician says, “Tax Reform,” Republicans hear, “Tax Hikes.”

That doesn’t really leave any room for compromise, does it? And that’s the problem in a nutshell. As they can’t even communicate with each other, there’s little or no hope that they can cooperate with each other.

I’d suggest that they put aside other issues and work out a common lexicon and dictionary to speak and work from, but that would only result in decades of argument and expense. They are the people who weren’t confident of what the definition of “is” is, after all. ;-)

Related Reading:

Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? (And Other Concerns)
The Tea Party and the Remaking of Republican Conservatism
Party of the People: A History of the Democrats
To Make Men Free: A History of the Republican Party
Hyperbole and a Half: Unfortunate Situations, Flawed Coping Mechanisms, Mayhem, and Other Things That Happened

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